Mother's Day Pipe Organ Concert Honors Julia Irene Kauffman

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and its Premier Partner Saint Luke's Health System presented "Music from the Heart," a special pipe organ concert attended by 1,000 people on Sunday, May 12 at 4 p.m. in Helzberg Hall. Music selections highlighting the many shades of love were performed on the Kauffman Center's spectacular pipe organ by Jan Kraybill, international concert artist and the Kauffman Center's organ conservator.

"The concert began with the Beatles tune All You Need is Love and included several compositions based on the theme of love - perfect to share with audiences on Mother's Day," according to Paul Schofer, President and CEO of the Kauffman Center. "This free event was designed to celebrate Mother's Day and the 25th anniversary of the Saint Luke's Muriel I. Kauffman Women's Heart Center, founded by three distinguished women who are medical professionals and mothers themselves. That this performance featured the heart of Hezlberg Hall, the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ donated to the Center by Julia Irene Kauffman, forged yet another remarkable link in this partnership."

Before the performance, Melinda L. Estes, MD, President and CEO of Saint Luke's Health System and Tracy Stevens, MD, Medical Director of the Saint Luke's Muriel I. Kauffman Women's Heart Center presented Julia Irene Kauffman, Chairman of the Board for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, with the "Visionary" award. The Saint Luke's Women's Heart Center is the first center of its kind in the United States to take a proactive role in addressing women's heart health. Established in 1994, it operated as a program within Saint Luke's Hospital until a generous gift from Julia Irene Kauffman in 2004 allowed a formal center to be launched.

"To our Saint Luke's team, Julia is one of us," Dr. Estes shared. "She is an honorary member and a loyal friend. And that's why it has been our honor to share her family name with ours for the past 15 years. She helped us turn a dream-to improve women's heart health on a massive scale-into a reality."

"The Kauffman Center is truly fortunate to enjoy a wonderful relationship with Saint Luke's Health System," added Paul Schofer. "As our Premier Partner, Saint Luke's has helped us celebrate the role that the arts play in a healthy lifestyle. This energizing pipe organ performance-with a full house in attendance-was a wonderful way to recognize both mothers and a remarkable community success story."


Jan Kraybill is a musical leader and dynamic speaker, an international concert artist, an educator and organ consultant, and an enthusiastic cheerleader for the power of music to change lives for the better. In addition to her active performance schedule, she is the organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and organist-in-residence at the international headquarters of Community of Christ in Independence, Mo. In these roles she regularly plays and oversees the care of the large pipe organs in the Kansas City metro area: the Community of Christ Auditorium's 113-rank Aeolian-Skinner (installed in 1959) and Temple's 102-rank Casavant (1993), and the 102-rank Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875 (2012) at the Kauffman Center. Kraybill has piano performance and education degrees from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., and a doctorate in organ performance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. In 2010 she achieved the distinction of Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, organists' highest certification level. In 2013 she was named Musician of the Year by the Kansas City Musical Club, and in 2014 the UMKC Conservatory honored her with its Alumni Achievement Award.


Saint Luke's Health System established the Women's Heart Center in 1994, the first of its kind in the United States to take a proactive role in addressing women's heart health. In 2004, the Saint Luke's Women's Heart Center received a generous gift from Kansas City philanthropist Julia Irene Kauffman, in honor of her mother. In 2010, the new Muriel I. Kauffman Women's Heart Center was unveiled at Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City.


Saint Luke's Health System consists of 16 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, its mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.


The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - a major not-for-profit center for music, opera, theater and dance designed by Moshe Safdie - opened in 2011. Serving as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City and the region, the Kauffman Center delivers extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. Honored as one of the World's 15 Most Beautiful Concert Halls, the Kauffman Center attracts some of the world's most renowned performers and entertainers.

Through educational outreach programs and community enrichment, the Kauffman Center supports Kansas City as a cultural destination. More information on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is available at

Visit the Kauffman Center's online press room for media resources, multimedia library, press release archive and more:

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Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
1601 Broadway Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64108

Mother's Day Pipe Organ Concert Honors Julia Irene Kauffman

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